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La Cerdanya, an idyllic region in the Pyrenees

If at the mention of Catalunya what comes to mind is paradisiacal beaches and sunny coast towns keep reading because you’re in for a surprise. Today we’d like to introduce our readers to the wonderful region of La Cerdanya.

La Cerdanya, the Catalan Switzerland

La Cerdanya is a magical place in Catalunya that will remind its visitors of the Swiss valleys, surrounded by snow capped peaks and green fields full of cows. It is in the Pyrenees and it lives in both, Catalunya and France, making this dreamlike area very special.

Its peculiar location allows you to cross the border on foot and the region is full of fun activity choices for both the winter and summer seasons. In winter, La Cerdanya’s main attractions are its ski stations. During the summer months, the towns get full of hiking enthusiasts and rock climbers.

Views of La Cerdanya

Views of La Cerdanya (Image by National Geographic España)

In a casual chat with our bartender Nestor, we find out he spent over two years living in La Cerdanya some time ago. Driven by his passion for snow sports, he moved from Barcelona to Puigcerdà, the capital of this region. He was working as a snowboard instructor for three winters in La Molina (one of the main ski stations). We can tell there’s a hint of nostalgia in the way he tells us about it.

A peaceful environment where you can feel free

‘It was a huge shock to go from the big buzz of an extremely busy city like Barcelona to the peaceful feeling of La Cerdanya, where the silence and tranquility of nature takes over everything’ he says. Nestor recalls how during his first year there, he lived in one of the three houses of a very rural village. His landlady was also his neighbour and every morning Nestor would buy the milk that she had just milked herself.

Nestor in La Cerdanya (Image by Nestor)

Nestor in La Cerdanya (Image by Nestor)

He tells us that his days there were always the same: getting up early to go to the stations for work, finishing work and come back home, have some food, chill out with friends and a warm drink and then bedtime. Still, he says what he misses the most is the feeling of freedom that this idyllic setting gave him.

Sometimes, if the snow storms got really bad, they would have to stay inside home for several days, but this wasn’t a huge problem because he was always in good company. According to Nestor, its a very familiar place and making friends from all over Spain and France would be super easy during the winter season.

Trinxat de La Cerdanya, a traditional dish from the XV century.

And we couldn’t finish this entry without talking about what we like the most, food. This region also has its traditional cuisine, and we wanted to share with you the most popular dish in La Cerdanya: El Trinxat.

Trinxat de la Cerdanya (Image credit: Cocido de Sopa)

Trinxat de la Cerdanya (Image credit: Cocido de Sopa)

This is a highly popular dish all throughout the Pyrenees. It’s a recipe that dates back to the XV century and, although it may seem simple, it’s that type of grandmother dish that we love: traditional and extremely tasty. Its main ingredients are just three, potato, cabbage and bacon, but its popularity is such that every year in February in La Cerdanya there’s a Trinxat Festival where thousands of people get together to eat.

We will bring you more curiosities about all the different corners of Catalonia, so keep an eye on our blog to keep learning what’s beyond Barcelona!